Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) headlined the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner Sunday night.
Harris’ appearance at the event was called into question earlier this month after a dispute between union leaders and the Cuyahoga County Council. As The Cleveland Plain Dealer explains, the council voted to transfer control of three county jails to MetroHealth, and as a result placed the jobs of nurses at the jails in jeopardy.
Shontel Brown, a county councilwoman and the chair of the county’s Democratic Party, voted in favor of the move. The local chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) planned to protest Sunday night’s event.
“Kamala Harris is a longstanding friend of labor and if there is a dispute that leads to a picket line, she will not cross it,” a spokesperson for Harris’ campaign said in response.
The dispute, however, was resolved last week, allowing Harris’ appearance to move forward as planned.
“These hardworking and dedicated nurses are guaranteed employment through the transition to MetroHealth. Individuals not retained, or those who decline employment, will be offered jobs elsewhere in the county or placement services to assist in seeking employment,” Brown said in a statement.
Harris’ appearance at the annual fundraiser was announced in March, and the event quickly sold out.
“2020 will be the most important presidential election in our lives. Cuyahoga County will be pivotal to turning Ohio blue and that is why we are thrilled to welcome Senator Harris to Cleveland,” Brown said in a statement when announcing the event.
The event took place in the Hope Ballroom at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.
“Our annual dinner consistently raises funds that allow us to run a strong local party,” an event description states. “The precinct committee persons, labor officials, local elected officials, Democratic club members and affinity groups, activists and clergy who attend are highly engaged and committed to electing Democrats in our county, state and nation. Your presence will provide a unifying force for our party’s efforts in the fight to take back Ohio and deliver for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.”
Mandi Merritt, Ohio spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said Harris “has already had a whole campaign’s worth of misfires that are casting a dark shadow on her presidential bid.”
“From her pattern of questionable judgment, to dodging her own record, to embracing government-takeover policies, Kamala Harris is wrong for Ohio and wrong for the country,” Merritt said.
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